Polio vaccination drive extended to April


    THE synchronized oral polio vaccine campaign in the National Capital Region and in Mindanao has been extended up to April, according to the Department of Health.

    Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said there will be additional rounds of anti-polio immunization to ensure the dreaded polio virus would not be transmitted to other areas.

    “For us to effectively and successfully stop the transmission of this disease, we need to sustain our synchronized efforts. We must continue to ensure that no child is left unvaccinated,” said Duque.

    “We need to provide evidence that the transmission of polio virus is already contained before we can end the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio campaign. Therefore, the fight against polio is far from over,” he added.

    Last November, a 9-year-old girl from Basilan who has not received any polio vaccine was confirmed as the country’s eighth victim of the dreaded virus. Kids aged five and below are the target of the vaccination campaign.

    For Metro Manila, there will be two additional rounds scheduled on January 27 to February 7; and March 9 to March 20.

    Last year, the DOH conducted three rounds of polio vaccination in Manila and two rounds in the whole of NCR.

    For Mindanao, there will be one round to be conducted in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga City, Isabela City, and Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat on January 6 to 12; and two additional rounds in the whole of Mindanao on February 17 to March 1; and March 23 to April 4.

    Last year, the DOH conducted two rounds of polio immunization in Lanao del Sur, Marawi City, Davao del Sur, and Davao City; and one round in the whole of Mindanao.

    “With the extension of the campaign, the Department aims to achieve at least 95 percent coverage in all identified areas for every round to ensure that there will be no child missed,” Duque said.

    “We need the participation of everybody to successfully end this outbreak,” he added.